Salsa Picante: The Hot News Mix of EduVenture Mexico
Spring 2006: April 28, 2006
By Tim Trezise, EVM Site Director
This is our one newsletter this spring, so grab those corn chips to go with your favorite salsa (which you already have in your hand – or on your screen), plop down in that recliner and savor another news update from EduVenture Mexico. Don’t even think about grabbing the "clicker" and wasting time with reality TV, this is about real people and real events in a real place, and a bonus: no commercials! This Salsa has been late coming because we have been waiting on several news items to include.
Full Steam For The Fall
After running lean for two years, we have taken the risk of setting eight students as our minimum number to be running the semesters here. We have spent much time in prayer and wondering what the future holds for the student program and even our purpose here. Discouragement, doubt, and frustration are effective tools used against us. God patiently and consistently says, "Trust Me" and "Give Thanks.” The Lord’s answer is more than encouraging with eight students applying for the fall. We are moving forward with running the fall semester. Please join us in praying for them. May God supply all their needs as they prepare and may He ready their hearts for growing through relationships, classes, and experiences. Every semester we have seen God’s power shine in softening and transforming lives of students who normally would never choose to invest in each other. Prayer plays a vital role in this. Living in community is also a powerful tool in the Lord’s hands in shaping a life into the masterpiece it was intended to be. Students are listed by name, male or female, college, and home. If you would like to partner with EduVenture and the exciting things God is doing here, please "devote yourself to prayer" (Colossians 4:2). Keep these prospective students in mind as well as students from previous semesters as they continue to grow in obedience to God’s shaping hand. Also please pray for a few not named here who may be seriously considering attending this fall.
Home on the Range
This spring has been flowing with a variety of activities keeping the EVM staff busy at Rancho Huapoca. With the student program being cancelled (due to low enrollment) this spring, the Trezise family hit the road for five weeks to visit with administrators and recruit students at a variety of colleges dispersed from L. A. to Vancouver, B.C. Meanwhile back at the ranch, (what a great lead-in) Paul, Jill, and Sergio put the finishing touches on the Inge’s house, just in time for being able to do some hosting. We had family members visit and volunteer their labor in reconstructing the entire roof for Casa Lalo (one of our dorms – which had a built-in sprinkler system whenever it rained). Tim’s parents, Kathy’s sister’s family, Paul’s parents, and Jill’s parents and brother all came on back-to-back weeks in March. It was a huge encouragement to us all to have our families meet our Mexican family and live briefly in our community with us. There were times in the saddle, swimming at the hot springs, and exploring ancient Indian cliff dwellings, amidst getting a number of projects checked off the to-do lists.
A new garden with drip irrigation was put together under Jill’s and Sergio’s supervision. This is exciting not only for the yummies that will sprout soon, but also for its potential for use as a lab in our community development class. This is a classic example of appropriate technology for agriculture in a dry and waterless climate.
EVM staff spent the second half of the week (Semana Santa) leading up to Easter assisting Rancho Huapoca with running the public camping and recreational activities for the hoards of people that migrate out to the Huapoca Canyon for vacation. On two consecutive nights down by the river, the Jesus film was projected onto a big screen. We were all rejoicing with hosts of angels to see the Holy Spirit move in 23 people deciding to follow the King of Glory – who can not be contained in a tomb, yet in the hearts of men. What a way to celebrate Jesus and his victory in overcoming the grave – to see another powerful demonstration of His authority over the death and sin of others. The second death has nothing on those who yield to the Captain of the Host, the Overcomer, the Invincible! No tacky inflatable bunnies – just the power of Christ! Easter – what an amazing time of year! What an awesome privilege to call him LORD.
In early April we scouted Sinforosa Canyon as a different option than the canyoneering trip we currently take students on in Basaseachi National Park. Sinforosa is the most extreme of the canyons in the Copper Canyon system, being deeper than the Grand Canyon but looking like it could be someplace in Peru. It was an amazing experience to hike down, down, and down into some of God’s most beautiful canyon country. We descended through different ecological zones, appreciating the different species of cacti and exotic-looking trees, including a lime tree. Some sections of the path narrowed and clung along the precarious edges of large cliffs bringing the void of the yawning canyon close to the soles of our boots. Even one of those limes would pucker in some of those places. It didn’t take long to decide that this is not an appropriate place for students – brain-damaged staff on the other hand . . .
Upon reaching el Rio Verde we had a feeling of accomplishment and deeper appreciation for just how big and creative our God is and how small we are. Just when we sure we were in some super remote, seldom-seen country, it was humbling to come across a few parties of the indigenous Tarahumara tribe, who call this canyon home. We were self-sufficient with our large state-of-the-art backpacks filled with all we "needed", good hiking footwear, and decked out in the "appropriate" outdoor clothing and were thinking we had packed lightweight. A Tarahumara man in a cowboy hat, button-down shirt, and polyester pants approached us from up-river, picking his way across the large boulders in his sandals made from discarded truck tires. "¡Que grandes muchillos!" he said with smirking eyes, scanning the colorful burdens we actually choose to put on our back. Translated with his body language: What huge backpacks! Why? What kind of person would want to do this? I don’t understand these people.
The Tarahumara hike these "trails" to visit their neighbors or to get into the closest Mexican town. They don’t live together in villages but miles apart from each other in simple homesteads carved out of any land that they can operate a hand plow without tipping over. No need for water bottles and purifiers, they just drink from the river or streams when they need to. Trails are nice but not necessary when they round up their goats. In the way they live (exist), these people bring a much better definition of what is "hard core" than the pumped-up version given to us with the X-Games. These are the real Survivors, not a person who manipulated his/her way to not being voted off the island. Reality TV would be a lot better if it dropped the focus on the scandalous and chose to actually send production crews to film those really living extreme. The indigenous people of Copper Canyon and the Sierra Madre mountains are just a small window of the third of the world’s population that is scattered around this planet who live on less than $1 a day in conditions where the words "convenient", "variety", or "extra" are not used.
People Development And Hats
We desire to see our Lord draw people to Himself and transform lives. Our responsibility is to present the truth, nurture growth, train, and enable local leaders to transform their communities by helping them meet their needs holistically. EduVenture holds to the belief that lasting community development starts at the roots of developing people, not projects or business ventures.
EduVenture is an educational program for American students to be challenged to grow in all areas of their lives and be the feet and hands of Jesus in a world suffering. The other hat EduVenture wears is in ministry to the nationals to apply their faith where they have influence to reverse the evils of their society. These two hats are basically the same, especially because discipleship is the core fabric of both. Whether it is an American or Mexican student, if they walk in faith and obedience, the results for God’s kingdom should be similar despite where they end up in this world. It takes time and effort to get both hats to fit well. It takes even more time and creativity in trying to fit both hats on at the same time, integrating the two purposes of EduVenture to work together. The goal is to have one hat and eventually a seamless program for students from both nations growing in the Lord and learning from each other’s worldviews and values. There is no doubt in our minds that there may be no better time to get the next generations from these two nations learning and working together. Cross-Cultural Christianity is a very healthy environment for the Holy Spirit to break down walls of misinformation, prejudice, dogma, and tradition to build on the only foundation that can’t be shaken. Hector’s main focus while living here for the fall semester will be to help EVM plan and implement how to make this happen under one sombrero.
New For This Year
The adventure staff will be receiving two weeks of intensive training in two courses. In early May, we will be bringing in a world-class climber, Cindy Tolle to do training on how to run a student climbing program. She is also a climbing guide in the Tetons during the summers, when she is not directing a study abroad program close to us in Mexico. Ben Askins (Wilderness First Responder Instructor and Climbing For Christ member) will come in late July to do a week of wilderness first aid training with staff from Mexico and Fiji. There is a possibility that climbing will be an option in our Outdoor Education/Physical Education class for this coming fall semester. Todd Paris of Climbing for Christ will be returning in May to install a Tyrolean traverse (like a Zip-Line) over the canyon behind our campus. He may also be doing some work on setting some anchors and bolts for more climbs at the climbing area we have developing above our campus.
EVM will be hosting a staff retreat and board meetings following the week of WFR training. The campus will be full with staff and families from all EV locations (Tucson, Mexico, Fiji, and Indonesia). Pray that this time will bear much fruit from relationship-building and decision-making.
After four years of chipping away at our construction projects as money and time become available, we will be making a final blitz to finish up all construction by mid summer so as to have that finally behind us, enabling us to more effectively focus on achieving our purposes. If you would be interested in investing in EduVenture Mexico you can send a financial gift to EduVenture Mexico, 2870 S. Pantano Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85730.
Thanks for sticking it out and making it this far reading. We appreciate your interest in EVM and invite you to team up with us with your support through prayer. We need your help and are grateful for it. I will wrap this up with some verses from a song that has been meaningful to our staff during times of not knowing what lies ahead and wondering if our efforts are in vain.
For more information about EduVenture, go to www.eduventure.net
"Salsa Picante" is written by Tim Trezise, Site Director for EduVenture Mexico. The views expressed in this newsletter may not represent the views of anybody but the one who sees it and since everybody has a different view from their current position then why do disclaimers even need to be stated?